#UCCSynod: Blessings

by Holly Norwick


The 8 o’clock hour here in Milwaukee offers a quiet excitement as I sneak by the check-in tables and make my way to the counter for my room key. It’s easy to avert recognition looking like I do after the 5-hour drive – hair in a fallen ponytail, eyes puffy from the thoughts that accompanied me along the way. The excitement was a welcome transition after the ache of the drive just hours after sitting my 11-month-old down at gramma’s house next door in Minnesota, trying to explain mommy’s work in the wider church that would take me away for a few days.  Her soft smile and sleepy eyes just gazed into mine in a bottle-induced trance as she lifted up for a kiss and fell asleep in my arms. 

The excitement grew as I made my way to my room and met my awesome roommate, Beth Anne, who has intimate knowledge of the “mommy’s first time away blues.” I transform from the “drive of sadness” attire to the “let’s do this” garb and we make our way across the street for a bite. That’s when it started, what I had hoped this weekend would offer me in exchange for a missed week of my little one’s joy: a raw and honest conversation about the Kingdom of God over a glass (or two) of red wine with my sister in Christ. We invited Luther and Calvin and Barth to the table for the discussion, saving the head of the table spot for Jesus, Himself, of course. After all, it’s His most used phrase of the scriptures. It was life-giving, soul-quenching and completely invigorating to recognize the very presence of the Kingdom of God surrounding us. As the meal and conversation came to a close a text came through from gramma - little Gracie had fallen asleep (which means no FaceTime goodnight for mommy.) She was so content she didn’t need it tonight. Thank you God AND, God have mercy...

Holly Norwick

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